Thursday, October 28, 2010

Diapers for Ethiopia orphanage...

This was a FaceBook status earlier today from a fellow adoptive family currently in Ethiopia:

"A hard start to our day. Visited an orphanage with deplorable conditions, and left in tears. Our group was able to buy 10 crib mattresses (yes, babies are sleeping on the wooden bottoms of the cribs). But they also need massive quantities of diapers-ripped pieces of sheets wrapped around their bottoms and held in place with their onesie t-shirts isn't cutting it."

We will be in Addis Ababa next week and will be able to purchase diapers to donate to this orphanage. If you would like to help, please donate through the button below. THANKS!


(Can't wait to get back home and tell you all how much your money blessed others!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

God always has a lesson in store for me… (and I am incredibly thankful for that!)

We received our referral on July 23rd realizing that it would be a while before we received our court date assignment due to the fact that courts in Ethiopia would be closed for most of August and September. I was prepared for that wait. I survived all those weeks without a bit of fretting or even impatience. But the day courts opened in late September, I was ready to receive a court date.

Days went by.

No date.

Others received court dates.

We did not.

Then more received court dates.

But we did not.

Some of the ones who received court dates before us actually received referrals after we did – that was hard.

I was torn. In my mind I knew that God knew what was best and that everything would happen in His time, and that we were not waiting on the Ethiopian government for our court date - we were waiting on God. But I also wanted that date sooner rather than later.

Friends kept asking, “Got a court date yet?”, “Heard anything yet?”, etc. 
My response would be, “No, haven’t heard anything. Thanks for asking.” Sometimes I would even add, “But it’s all in God’s time.”

The problem with that was that even though I claimed that I was trusting God for the timing, I actually was disappointed in His timing. I was frustrated that God hadn’t done what I wanted Him to when I wanted Him to.  I was saying I was okay with it – and I really wanted to be okay with it. But deep down, I was NOT okay with it and the disappointed tone in my answers revealed that – not only to me but also to others.

Over the last few days, however, God has really been showing me what I was doing. He shined a light deep down in my heart and revealed what I was hiding in there – and it wasn’t pretty.

God showed me that when I said I trusted His timing but was still disappointed in it, not only was I doubting His plan but I hadn’t really surrendered my will to His. If I were really trusting His perfect timing, then I would have an excitement that His will was being done. I would actually be joyful that no matter “what” happened or “when” or even “if” it happened that it would all be the way He planned it to be and that it would be perfect. God’s perfect timing is something to be EXCITED about! It’s something to count as a blessing rather than something I must tolerate until I get what I want.

Yesterday God really began to convict me that whenever anyone asks me about a court date that I should not speak with a disappointed tone but that I should speak with joyful anticipation about what God is at work doing on our behalf. I had a chance to start last night when a few people asked at a home school “thing”. (If you home school, you probably know what I mean!) I LOVED sharing with them that I knew God was at work and that we were excitedly waiting on His timing. And the best part was I actually meant it! I had completely given the timing to God. I had completely surrendered what I wanted. Finally.

All morning I couldn’t wait for more people to ask if we had a court date yet just so I could answer them. I kept thinking about getting to church Sunday morning and sharing my “new” answer and what God had been teaching me with everyone who asked. Then, this afternoon, I was driving alone and thinking and praying that I would be able to share accurately in a blog post all He has been teaching me. I was overwhelmed with emotion and near tears in thanks for the blessing of God’s teaching in my life and wondering when the next opportunity for me to share it would come.

And then guess what happened literally less than two minutes later…

Michael called to say we have a court date!

November 8th. YAY!

(Now I’ll have something different to share with everyone who asks. I had my other answer already planned out, but I’m happy to share this one, too!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Great adoption video!

Auburn Football Offensive Line Coach has daughter adopted from Ethiopia.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"I Have a Dream"

Earlier today I was working on Deke's (10th gr.) American Lit. lesson plans, and one of the things he will have to read next semester is Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. It's been a long time since I read it, so I read it again.

Here is a tiny bit of what he said: "I have a dream that one day, down in day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

Well, AMEN, then!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I keep seeing Africa... I REALLY need get there soon!

In my conditioner...

My shirt I tossed up on the hook in the bathroom...
(look at the shadow - even better!)

And I even had a blister on my heel that was shaped like Africa
(it really was, but I decided I would spare you from that image!)

Obviously, I need some new and interesting things to post - just waiting on that court date!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Samaritan's Purse

We usually do Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes with Samaritan's Purse every year.  We have loved giving to this ministry for the last 16 Christmases. (We even have missionary friends in South America who have been able to give out shoeboxes to children they have ministered to.)  Each of our kids fills a shoebox for another child their age, and it has been so fun for each of our kids to shop and choose the gifts - and then try to cram it all in a shoebox! 

But this week we received the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Catalog and Gift #1 caught our eyes and touched our hearts.  It is "Feed a Hungry Baby for a Week". This so dear to us because we have become painfully aware that it is too often the lack of FOOD that tears apart families in Ethiopia.  Something that we take for granted - every single day.  Something we never question the availability of.  Something that we have in such abundance that we become unhealthy because of our overindulgence in it.  And it is the lack of that "something" that we so often use for our "entertainment" is the cause of families being torn apart. 

I didn't realize until we began the adoption process that most - that's right, MOST - of the "orphans" in Ethiopia still have at least one living parent.  But since that parent cannot provide the basic necessities of life - including food - they must choose whether to give up their children for adoption or to allow them to starve. They realize that even if the child is never adopted, at least they have a much greater chance at survival. It's a heart-wrenching choice that should never have to be made.  No parent should have to give up their child simply so they will have food, and no child should have to live in an orphanage without the love of their family so that they might have something to eat.

So this year, in lieu of shoeboxes, we are going to feed as many hungry babies as we can in hopes that they will be able to remain with their parents.  We can't feed them all, but we can do something.  We still LOVE Operation Christmas Child, but this year we will be feeding babies instead...

If you would like to feed hungry babies, you can visit the Samaritan's Purse website at then click "Browse the catalog".  Gift #1 is the one.

Below is the description:

Gift #1 - Feed a Hungry Baby for a Week

Mothers in southeastern Ethiopia carry their hungry babies for miles across dry, dusty plains to reach the Samaritan’s Purse feeding center. Though many of the children arrive near death, most are healthy enough to return home after a few weeks of nourishing food. Around the globe, malnutrition claims millions of young lives each year and leaves many others with physical and mental disabilities. In regions ravaged by hunger, a $9 gift can help us feed a baby or nursing mother for a week, presenting a powerful witness for our compassionate Savior.

“For He will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.”
Psalm 72:12 NIV

Friday, October 15, 2010

Proverbs 25:25

"Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land."

Feeling a little "thirsty" for some good news!
Just sayin'

Monday, October 4, 2010

I LOVE how God works!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20–21

God said for us to follow Him in this. And, yes, He said He would provide. If we didn’t believe this whole adoption thing was His idea and trust Him to complete it, we never would have followed Him into it. So the fact that God is providing is not unexpected. What has been unexpected is how He provides and how overwhelmed I am by it.

When we began this process, I prayed and asked God to miraculously provide $50,000 for our adoption. (In my mind, our primary need was money, but I was wrong – again!) God said, “That’s not how I want to do this. I have a better way.”

One of the blessings that God has provided through His "better way" is that He has made it so that there are many people involved in our adoption. He has provided monetary gifts in bits and pieces – some big, some small – to allow as many people as possible to be a part of bringing our children home. That means that we must be patient and wait on God to provide, and then provide some more, and then provide some more. Like the manna the Israelites received daily - just when they needed it, but only enough for that day. Never so much that that they could forget they were dependent upon Him, and never so little that they would doubt His faithfulness. That’s where we stand financially in this process.

But, of course, financial provision is only the beginning. Even more importantly and amazingly, God is continually providing us with revelations about Himself through this process. God, yes, GOD – the One, the Only, the Eternal Living God, the Creator, the Sustainer, our LORD and SAVIOR - is revealing more and more of Himself to us daily. The greatest blessing we can receive is for God to allow us to know Him more. Nothing else even compares. I wish I could type my overwhelming feelings of gratitude and amazement and awe right into this page. I wish I could put it out there somehow so that you could “feel” what I feel. Words cannot begin to express the blessing of knowing God more and feeling His presence and leading. I just wish I could share a little of it with everyone!

Another unforeseen gift God has given us through doing this HIS way, is the bond we have with everyone who has donated to our adoption. In our hearts, every single person who has given of their own resources to help bring our children home has become a part of our family. The gift that is given is not just viewed by us as dollar signs. It is so much more than money. It is literally the gift of “our children”. Every gift, no matter how large or small, becomes magnified when God uses it. God takes something that we, in all of our wisdom, think we know the value of (a dollar amount), and gives it infinite worth by using it to do something so priceless it cannot be labeled in human terms.

God is so amazing! We love being on this journey with Him. We are thankful and consider ourselves incredibly blessed to be invited on this adventure of adoption. Can’t imagine still living our boring, old, “regular” life. Wooo Hooo and Amen!

Friday, October 1, 2010

We received the September update today!

I wanted to share a little of what our monthly updates are like.  We receive photos and info each calendar month we do not travel to Ethiopia.  Below is a bit of the information we received today from our agency.  Just thought some may want to know what type of info we get while we wait...

Our Beautiful Girl:

Weight: 14 kg (almost 31 lbs.)
Height: 96 cm (almost 38 inches)

She eats well; all kinds of foods
Her finger was hurt by a door in the TH; she got treatment, x-ray and medication and she is fine now

She is attending nursery level and she is excellent and active in all kinds of subjects she is getting
She can sing different spiritual songs and also good in painting different pictures

Personality/Other Comments:
She loves to play with dolls and make herself comfortable by singing different songs
She is a very happy girl who likes to smile

Our Handsome Boy:

Weight: 16.7 kg (almost 37 lbs.)
Height: 105 cm (almost 41.5 inches)

He has a good appetite and eats all kinds of foods
He is healthy

He is growing well
He has started to focus on lessons which he does not do before

Personality/Other Comments:
He is very much active in his duties
Enjoys to play with ball alone but not with other

Puzzle Piece Fundraiser

We are beginning our "Puzzle Piece" fundraiser!

Here's how it works:
We have had two 500-piece photo puzzles custom made using our first referral pictures of our kids.  We will be "selling" pieces for $20 each.  For each piece that someone buys, we will write the donor's name on the back of that piece.  The donor's name will be on 1 piece or 50 pieces depending on how many they "buy".  After all the pieces are sold and the puzzles are completed, we will have them framed between two pieces of glass so that the names on the back are visible.  We are doing one for our son and one for our daughter so they each will have one to keep for the rest of their lives.

We chose $20 because just about anyone can find $20 to give - from a kid to a college student to a senior adult.  Many may want to purchase more, and we certainly hope that those who can do that, will.  We honestly feel that God wants as many as possible to be involved in rescuing orphans, and $20 makes it possible for just about everyone to be a part of something amazing.  (Literally "rescuing" orphans!)

One THOUSAND pieces is a lot to sell... and we absolutely cannot do it alone.  Please, please, PLEASE share this with everyone you can.  Please post it on FB, e-mail it to all your friends, share it with others at your church - ANY way that you can publicize this would be appreciated more than you can know.  We really need to sell all of them, because that would be $20,000 for our adoption!  (And we desperately need it!) 

To help us, you can click the "Donate" button below or the one on the sidebar and enter your donation amount to pay through PayPal.  If you would rather send a check or make your donation in some other way, please e-mail me at

THANKS so much!

Below is a distorted picture of what the puzzles look like - we can't show the actual puzzle yet because it is  a photo of the kids with a Bible verse at the bottom. 
(Aren't they beautiful?)